Yesterday, I successfully emptied my little RV’s waste tanks. I was simultaneously proud and disgusted. I was equipped with vinyl gloves, Clorox wipes, gallon jugs of water, and anxiety. Happily, no one was watching. Once the tanks were empty, I flushed the drainage hose thoroughly, wiped everything down with Clorox wipes (including the bottoms of my shoes); disposed of gloves, empty water jugs and soiled Clorox wipes; came home and showered. I still haven’t decided whether to wash the clothes I was wearing with a generous amount of bleach or just burn them.
I was touched and proud when my dearest friend told me that she felt I have earned wings (this was even before I had successfully removed the waste from my RV). Sadly, I know that any wing earning I’ve cooked up has been well seasoned with pride, self-pity, resentment and a bunch of other stuff that I’m too embarrassed to list. In the greatest display of friendship, my friend chooses to focus on the positive aspects of my behavior. It did get me started thinking about what kind and size of wings I may have earned. In keeping with my Retirement Position Description which includes writing, I wrote the following short, semi auto-biographical story (of course, I am still alive).
Tina died. We all will. Tina had been a moderately good person. She hadn’t been bad or evil, because that would have taken too much energy. She hadn’t been great or wonderful, because that would have taken too much energy. She watched a lot of television.
As far as earning wings goes, her wings reflected her life. They were small; incapable of supporting flight. When she jumped, they took her higher, and kept her elevated longer, than she could have managed without them. They could best be described as “hopper wings.”
Television is not broadcast in the afterlife, so Tina had much more time on her hands than she had while living. She spent that time learning how to use her hoppers. She hopped. Since her hoppers could not lift her high into the heavens, she hopped around the world seeing what was going on. Some of it was good. Some of it wasn’t good, but it was real and it was interesting; sometimes even entertaining like television. Like television, she couldn’t change the storyline. The difference was that she truly cared about what she saw. She wanted to comfort the sad, laugh with the happy, and share the joy she felt when she saw things that were good. She hopped. Maybe, she hopped a little higher.
One time, while hopping, she encountered a low-flying, impressively wing-endowed, heavenly being. She had just enough time to ask a question: “How’d you get those wings?” Luckily, the answer was just one word: “Love.” Tina realized what she had begun to suspect; love lifts us up. Love is “Miracle Grow” for wings. Tina realized that caring about others was love. Tina realized that she loved and that she was loved and Tina’s wings grew.